This has been a most difficult year for coal miners across the world. From the tragedy in West Virginia, through China to Chile and to China again and now onto New Zealand, we are reminded of the sacrifices hard working men and women make for all of us daily in order for us to sustain our modern world's energy needs.
Many of us of Slavic ancestry in the United States have a connection to the mines and the triumphs and tragedies that they brought to the miners and their families. Let us pray for the salvation of the souls of those lost in the mines, for comfort for their families and that governments and mining companies alike see the light to ensure the best possible safety and protection that is available for the miners. Lord, have mercy.
On December 19th, the103rd anniversary of the Intercession of St. Nicholas for the protection of the Greek Catholic coal miners of Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania will be noted by both the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox descendants of those miners. Here is a link to the story of the Darr Mine Tragedy along with the Icon written for the ACROD parish in Jacobs Creek by iconographer Phillip Zimmerman. http://www.stnicholascenter.org/Brix?pageID=821